Monday, September 4, 2023

Mima Snapshots


Mima is a town located on the Yoshino River in Tokushima on Shikoku. I was heading west, upstream, on day 3 of my walk along the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage and was happy to be exploring an area I had never visited before.

I was on the north bank of the river and once I visited a temple further upstream in Miyoshi I would be heading back downstream on the southern bank. The further upstream I went the narrower and steeper the valley became. Though it was December 18th there was still plenty of colour left on some trees.

Up in the mountains of Mima is a small village, Nagoro,  now made famous as the Village of Dolls, where a local woman has replaced all the former residents with life-size dolls. She was not the first to do this, but down along the main road was another example. In the Kunisaki area of Kyushu I found something similar, Not The Village Of Dolls.

It had been a productive morning starting with a pilgrimage temple visit, then a nice 18th-century farmhouse, followed by a vintage wooden theatre, and then the preservation district of Wakimachi.

As usual, I stopped in at every shrine I passed in the hope of seeing something unusual, and at one shrine I was not disappointed. Instead of the usual komainu guardian statues, often translated at Korean Lion-Dogs, there were a pair of African Lions. I have seen this before, once at a shrine east of Matsue in Shimane, and once at a shrine in Hiroshima City.

Some crumpled up old electrical cable sticking out of the wall of an agricultural out-building. Or, some of the amazing public art that surrounds no matter where we are.

Not sure what Mickey and Minnie are advertising here,.... good chance its not aimed at children either. used to like Mickey Mouse and Disney when I was very young..... not sure what the attraction is to adults though....

At another shrine, this time with regular komainu, the Gingko was in full splendor. For me, November and December are the best times for travelling in Japan. I am heading towards a teramachi, an area where Buddhist  temples are gathered together in one area. The previous post in this series on the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage was Wakimachi.


  1. Lovely window at the top of the post and splendid lion!!!!